Toxicity of tranexamic acid (TXA) to intra-articular tissue in orthopaedic surgery: a scoping review.
Bolam SM., O'Regan-Brown A., Paul Monk A., Musson DS., Cornish J., Munro JT.
PURPOSE: Intra-articular administration of tranexamic acid (TXA) in orthopaedic arthroplasty and arthroscopic procedures has become increasingly common over the past decade. However, several recent reports have shown that TXA has the potential to be cytotoxic to cartilage, tendon and synovium. Our aim was to review the literature for evidence of toxic effects from TXA exposure to intra-articular tissue. METHODS: A scoping review methodology was used to search for studies assessing the toxic effects of TXA exposure to intra-articular tissues. MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS and The Cochrane Library were searched. Relevant information was extracted and synthesis of the retrieved data followed a basic content analytical approach. RESULTS: A total of 15 laboratory studies were retrieved. No clinical studies reporting a toxic effect of TXA on intra-articular tissue were identified in our search. Studies were analysed according to species of origin, tissue of origin and study setting (in vitro, ex vivo, or in vivo). There was increasing cytotoxicity to chondrocytes, tenocytes, synoviocytes and periosteum-derived cells with TXA concentrations beyond 20 mg/ml. Monolayer cell cultures appear more susceptible to TXA exposure, than three-dimensional and explant culture models. In vivo studies have not demonstrated a major toxic effect. CONCLUSIONS: Current evidence suggests a dose-dependent toxic effect on cartilage, tendon, and synovial tissue. Concentrations of 20 mg/ml or less are expected to be safe. There is a significant body of evidence to suggest the need for caution with intraarticular administration of TXA. There is a need for further human clinical trials in order to clarify the long-term safety of TXA topical application.